Tips for a successful recovery
Starting a rehab program as soon as possible after a stroke increases your chances of regaining some of the abilities you lost.
It's not possible to predict how much ability you will regain. The more ability you retain immediately after a stroke, the more independent you are likely to be when you are discharged from the hospital.
- Walking: People usually show the greatest progress in being able to walk during the first 6 weeks. Most recovery occurs within the first 3 months. But you may continue to improve slowly over the next few years.
- Speech, balance, daily skills: Speech, balance, and skills needed for day-to-day living return more slowly and may continue to improve for up to a year.
- Communication, judgment: About half of the people who suffer a stroke have problems with communication, judgment, or behavior that affects their work and personal relationships.
If your doctor wants to find out how the stroke has affected your ability to reason, concentrate, or remember, you may have neuropsychological tests.
Your rehab will be based on the physical abilities that were lost, your general health before the stroke, and your ability to participate. Rehab begins with helping you resume activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and dressing. For more information, see the topic Stroke Rehabilitation.
If you are someone whose loved one has had a stroke, you can play an important role in that person's recovery by providing support and encouragement.
If you get worse, your loved ones may need to move you to a care facility that can meet your needs, especially if your caregiver has his or her own health problems that make it difficult to properly care for you.
It is common for caregivers to neglect their own health when they are caring for a loved one who has had a stroke. If your caregiver's health declines, the risk of injury to you and your caregiver may increase.
- Stroke: Should I Move My Loved One Into Long-Term Care?